In December 2020, Mia Poncetto was seen in a video attacking 14-year-old Keon Harold Jr. with her father, a musician, at the Arlo Hotel. Fonseca said he thought he had his cell phone, but investigators later determined he was not.
The video of the incident soon went viral, with many accusing Poncetto of racially abusing a teenage child, who has denied the allegation. The incident comes as a series of calls for racial justice and police reform have been high for years, with black people like George Floyd and Prona Taylor dying at the hands of law enforcement officials.
The 23-year-old Fonseca must follow the eligibility rules for a separate case in California, attend counseling and avoid further criminal activity.
If he does not comply, Fonseca could face up to four years in prison, prosecutors said. But if she successfully follows those rules, she can be charged again with the false accusation of aggravated harassment in the second degree.
Paul de Emilia, Fonseca’s lawyer, said he was grateful for his client’s petition agreement and that he was “leading an exemplary life” after the incident.
“We appreciate the district governor’s thoughtful and sympathetic approach to finding an acceptable outcome, especially in light of the unreasonable pressure from so many voices who do not know further details about what happened that evening,” D’Emilia said. “Ms. Bonzetto is awaiting the final petition for the harassment charge, which appeals very realistically to what she did at the Arlo Hotel that night. It is Ms Bonzetto’s wish that Keon Harold should apologize for her behavior.
District Attorney Alvin Brock said Fonseca “exhibited rude behavior.”
“As a black man, I have personally experienced racial profiling countless times in my life, and I sympathize with the young man who suffered in this incident,” Brock said. “This request confirms Ms. Ponzetto’s appropriate accountability by identifying the root causes of his behavior and ensuring that this behavior does not recur.”
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